HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – official release — HHP/Harold Hinson photo — Erik Jones will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut later this season for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Jones, 18, will enter three events for JGR beginning with the July 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. He will also race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 22 and Phoenix Int’l Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., on Nov. 8.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to run some Nationwide races this year with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Jones, a part-time competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. “Since I wasn’t able to run a full season this year, adding to my Truck Series schedule was something I I’ve been working hard on. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with a team like JGR and have the chance to get behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota Camry. They are always a threat in the Nationwide Series. I was able to test with the team and Kevin Kidd (crew chief) a few weeks ago in Memphis and felt really comfortable. I have high expectations for all three races.”
In five races in 2013 with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Jones finished in the top 10 in each start, earning two top-five finishes as well as his first career victory at Phoenix Int’l Raceway. The victory made Jones the youngest winner in NCWTS history at 17 years, five months and nine days of age. Jones will attempt to duplicate his success in Phoenix in the Nationwide Series a day after defending his Truck Series race win.
Jones has had success at every level of his racing career and boasts several impressive achievements including becoming only the third driver in the 46-year history of the prestigious Snowball Derby race to win back to back (2012 and 2013).
“We have a long history of working with talented young drivers and we think very highly of Erik,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. “He has certainly been impressive in Kyle’s equipment in the truck series and I think we’re all anxious to see him perform in the Nationwide Series now.”